Four-Year-Old Warm Up Gets Things Started at the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships

Debbie Hill and Leslie Waterman’s Hannoverian Gelding by Sir Donnerhall, Sir Sherlock
Debbie Hill and Leslie Waterman’s Hannoverian Gelding by Sir Donnerhall, Sir Sherlock

Complete Results for Four Year Old Preliminary Test on centerlinescores.com. In the Four-Year-Old Division for the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships, the horse and rider combinations have just one test which counts for the Championships, so the warm up class becomes a training opportunity to familiarize their horses with the arena and present themselves to the judges, whose comments are often helpful in going on to the final class.  After 15 horses went through their paces being primed in the warm up by National Coach Scott Hassler, Debbie Hill and Leslie Waterman’s Hannoverian Gelding by Sir Donnerhall, Sir Sherlock, led the way with a whopping 85.6%. Alyssa Pitts who travelled across the country from Washington State was close behind with Melissa Mulchahey’s Westphalen gelding Furst Fiorano by Furst Piccolo with an 84.2%, and Lientje Schueler, Steffen and Shannon Peters long time assistant trainer put in a lovely ride with Pinky Roberts’ Oldenburg gelding by Rosario with a 79.8%.

Hill who is from Alabama is competing three horses this weekend in the finals, and travelled to Lamplight Equestrian Center from Alabama a month ago to do a qualifier and settled here into their training routine. If they were hoping for cooler weather, that did not happen but thankfully this weekend the temperature broke into a beautiful less humid 85 degrees. Hill has been participating in the Young Horse program every year, developing a niche for herself as a respected trainer in the southern region of the USA.  Sir Sherlock was raised by Waterman since he was a weanling at her Chasing the Mills Farm in Nashville TN, and expressed her appreciation to Hill for taking him on so they could share this opportunity together.

The judges Jeanne McDonald, Maryal Barnett and Linda Zang noted his quality describing his movements as “even and through” giving him an 8.8 for the trot, and 8.5 for the walk, and an 8.7 for the canter, asking fo more in the movement. The submission scores earned an 8.5, and general impression and 8.8 which average a total of 85.6.

Alyssa Pitts who travelled across the country from Washington State was close behind with Melissa Mulchahey’s Westphalen gelding by Furst Piccolo, Furst Fiorano
Alyssa Pitts who travelled across the country from Washington State was close behind with Melissa Mulchahey’s Westphalen gelding by Furst Piccolo, Furst Fiorano

Alyssa Pitts who rides and trains across the country in Snohomish, Washington arrived last week with Melissa Mulchahey’s Furst Piccolo, and her own Jil Sander who she will be competing in the Developing Horse Championships. "Furst Fiorano, is simply put, the best horse that I've sat on," says Alyssa Pitts. Owned by Melissa Mulchahey of Rose Lane Sport Horses, the Westfalen gelding by Furst Piccolo out of a Donnerbube II mare, came into the Markel/USEF FEI Young Horse Championships as the top ranked four-year-old. "Obviously, he has a lot of physical talent, but what makes him so special is his work ethic and sunny disposition. He truly enjoys his work and is eager to please." 

Lientje Schueler, Steffen and Shannon Peters long time assistant trainer put in a lovely ride with Pinky Roberts’ Oldenburg gelding by Rosario
Lientje Schueler, Steffen and Shannon Peters long time assistant trainer put in a lovely ride with Pinky Roberts’ Oldenburg gelding by Rosario

German native Lientse Schuler has been working for Steffen and Shannon Peters for six years, and now has her chance to shine with Pinky Roberts’ Oldenburg Gelding bred in Germany by Ulrich Henschke. Linda Zang gave Schuler a suggestion for riding the corners in the four-year-old test. I see what you are doing and it is correct in the training,” Zang commented, “but in the test you should show us the lateral abilities we know he has.” Schuler is in good hands with Young Horse coach Scott Hassler, while her boss Peters remains in California. Her parents came from Germany to visit and share the weekend with her. From the northern part both are long time horsemen and breeder. In fact they had some sad news for Schuler last week; her first pony, a Shetland bought from Kassleman’s Father-in-Law was recently put down at the age of 54.

In all for the first class of the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships the quality was there, and judge’s comments positive and helpful. The Four-Year-Old Final will determine the Champions on Saturday.




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